Venkatesh, V., Podoshen, J., Perri, D., & Urbaniak, K. (2014). In V. Venkatesh, J. Wallin, J. Castro, & J. E. Lewis (eds.) Educational, behavioral and psychological considerations in niche online communities (pp. 364–388). Hershey, PA: IGI Worldwide.
This chapter presents an in-depth qualitative study of the inner workings of one niche extreme metal scene, namely black metal. Using data from the physical as well as virtual black metal scenes, the study explores how scene members manifest the tensions between their personal and communal identities, as well as how they negotiate the propagation of racism and xenophobia, both within and without online environments. The netnographic analyses presented draw on black metal scene members’ interactions in online forums and blogs showing sustained activity over an extended period of time, some spanning well over a decade-and-a-half. The authors also draw on data from observations at several concerts and festivals in North America and Europe, as well as personal, written reflections from an extreme metal music journalist who has struggled to find a balance between his appreciation of black metal music and some of the overt racism and violence propagated in the scene. Additionally, they present analyses from a series of interviews conducted with 12 black metal artists and fans from all parts of the globe. The authors cautiously contend that online interactions between members of niche music scenes such as black metal, wherein individual and collective identities are partially informed by xenophobia and
influenced by socio-political structures, when extended to the larger populace through the publicly available Internet, can potentially serve as paradigmatic cases of how otherwise self-contained racist chatter could influence the larger public exposed to these transgressions to consider adopting racist ideologies.